Getting Started with Office XP - Part 2

The second half of this quick guide continues with nine more tips to ensure a smooth installation of Microsoft's Office XP, including a rundown of useful new features.
This story first appeared on WinPlanet.

Today we follow yesterday's tips -- designed to ensure a smooth installation of Microsoft's new Office XP software in your office network -- with eight more suggestions. Please be sure to send comments, tips, experiences, and opinions about Office XP to me at dlevine@internet.com.

TIP 9. Responding to Input Stops

Whenever you're inputting material to Office XP and the program stops responding, although Windows is still working, open the Programs menu. From programs select Microsoft Office Tools, and then choose Office Application Recovery. By selecting the Recover Application, the program will attempt to save the current file and restart the application. Most of us have been trained to immediately click on Ctrl-Alt-Del, but this alternative method generally works and will save a lot of time and effort.

TIP 10. Disabling the Office Assistant

Don't believe the hype: Clippy the Office Assistant is still around. If you find Clippy a bother, disable him by right clicking the Office Assistant and choosing Options. Then uncheck the "Use the Office Assistant" box. There, you've done it, and the Clippy will appear no more unless you have second thoughts and reverse your actions. Once Clippy is disabled, whenever you press F! or click on HELP, you will go straight to the function.

TIP 11. Using Toolbars

When you work with toolbars in Office XP, you have three positioning options. If you use the Customize dialog box to display nonstandard toolbars, you can hide the toolbar very simply. From its docked position, grab the left edge of the toolbar and drag it over into the program window. Once it's in the program window, click on the Close button (X) in the upper right hand corner of the toolbar.

TIP 12. Customizing Toolbars

It's easier to customize built-in toolbars then to create new ones. You can Click the Toolbar Options arrow at the right of any toolbar and select Add or Remove Buttons to display the list of buttons available for that toolbar. In an Office application, you can add any command macro or existing menu to a toolbar instead of limiting yourself to the Add and Remove Options.

TIP 13. Accessing Menus

You can select from the top-level menus provided with Office XP and add your selection to the toolbar by clicking on the Customize dialog box, clicking the Commands tab, and selecting Built-in Menus.

TIP 14. Learning About and Using the Work Menu

Many Word users don't know about a powerful tool that's included and available for their use. Here's the time to learn about it and incorporate it into your daily routine. The Work Menu lets you build a list of files you work with regularly. Once you've built the list, you can access them easily at any time. You can find the Work Menu at the bottom of the built-in Menu list and drag it to one of your toolbars or the menu bar. When you're working with a file you know you'll want to use again, select Work, Add to Work Menu.

TIP 15. Working With Task Panes

Task Panes are a new interface in Office XP. The Task Panes are small windows that dock within an Office program window and provide easy access to commands and program functions. While Task Panes can generally be docked only to the right side of the program window, you can point to the pane's title bar and drag it to another, floating position in the window. By dragging the left edge you can change the width of the pane.

TIP 16. Customizing Smart Tags

Smart Tags are tiny button/menu combination additions to Office XP. They appear automatically after certain types of actions. Indicators, such as a colored line, mark the position of a Smart Tag in an Office document. Smart Tags are written in industry-standard XML, which means that a third-party developer can create Office-compatible add-ins that work as Smart Tags.

TIP 17. Changing File Locations Like Magic

In Office XP, changing the location of the Templates or Workgroups Templates folder in Word means that the location changes automatically in Excel and PowerPoint as well. While any user can continue to save and open personal templates in their own folders, any Word, Excel, and PowerPoint template in the Workgroup Templates folder automatically appears in the New dialog box of all three applications. This feature can help make certain that all users have access to the latest corporate templates in the three main Office applications.

D.E. Levine writes for WinPlanet, an internet.com site.






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